To: The Honorable George Latimer, Westchester County Executive
Dr. Sherlita Amler, Commissioner, Westchester County Department of Health
Dr. DaMia Harris-Madden, Executive Director, Westchester County Youth Bureau
Ernest McFadden, Westchester County Youth Bureau
Please accept this letter of gratitude from STEER for Student Athletes. STEER for Student Athletes is a
nonprofit organization that operates in the Port Chester-Rye Union Free School District (Port Chester Middle
School and Port Chester High School) and the Yonkers Public School District (Palisade Preparatory School).
Since 2012, STEER has provided mentorship to students in these communities to support college and career
readiness. STEER offers support services that include social, academic, and athletic assistance to individual
students. This enables them to graduate high school, prepare for further education, and enter into the workforce.
During this time, we recognize that many have been adversely impacted by the pandemic. Many students have
suffered the loss of their athletic seasons; whether it was their first season, their final season, or their breakout
season, we recognize what this loss has meant for the student-athletes. The pandemic has allowed our
student-athletes to reflect, never take a practice or competition for granted, and see the impact athletics has had
through a different lens. From everyone at STEER, we want to thank you for working on getting athletes back
on the fields, courts, mountains, tracks, swimming pools, gymnasiums, and all other competition fields! We are
grateful for the continued financial support we have received from the county throughout the pandemic; the
county's support of our mission has allowed us to continue to support our students.
We wanted you to know how grateful everyone in the STEER organization is for the opportunity to compete
once again and be part of something special. Most importantly, we thought you should hear from some of our
Jalen Brown, Junior, Palisade Preparatory School - “I am grateful to be playing basketball again because I
can finally get some exercise and be out of the house. Playing basketball again is a great way to get me back in
shape. I missed playing with my friends. I am grateful to have a season and be able to play this year.”
Daniela Blum, Senior, Palisade Preparatory School - "The approval of sports has made my senior year so
much better! Being able to play sports brought a piece of myself back together. COVID-19 and quarantine
brought my spirit down for a while, I missed being productive and active on a daily basis. Volleyball and
softball gave that to me. So finally knowing and receiving the news that we’ll be able to play, made me so
happy because playing and sharing quality time with my dear team brings joy to my life, plus I’m extremely
competitive so sports gives me the chance to use that competitiveness of mine in use!”
Ashley Garcia, Junior, Port Chester High School - “I am very happy about sports coming back because it
brings back some normalcy to many athletes during these difficult times. Also, we are able to do what we love
while staying safe which is the most important.”
Yelanni Diaz, Sophomore, Port Chester High School - “Playing soccer this year was definitely a blessing in so
many ways. Soccer has always been an escape for me, so being able to do what I loved in these times was amazing. My team and I had an amazing season despite the obstacles COVID brought and I can’t wait for next season!”
Colin Taylor, Sophomore, Port Chester High School - “This past year has taken a toll on everyone in our own way,
with COVID-19 canceling/delaying high school sports. As an athlete, I'm honestly humbled to even go to practice because it's been so long due to the rise of COVID cases. Everyone is hungry to get back on that field and put on a game for the town. With sports comes responsibility so this gives boys and girls hope and a boost to do better and excel.”
With sincere gratitude and appreciation,
STEER FOR STUDENT ATHLETES
Virtual STEER for Student Athletes Holiday Celebration touts accomplishments while spreading needed cheer
12/16/2020 - The STEER community gathered virtually to celebrate student accomplishments from the second half of 2020. Our virtual celebrations included welcome messages, program reviews, student speakers and everyone's favorite - our annual holiday raffle!
View our Holiday Celebration video below.
August 27th, 2020 - Members of our Educational Advisory Board gathered virtually to participate in their first meeting with Front Office staff and STEER school captains. The purpose of the Educational Advisory Board (EAB) is to join STEER leaders as thought partners in considering new programs and innovations. The diversity of the EAB brings varied and valuable perspectives to our organization.
The inaguaral meeting asked our EAB members and staff to consider the topic of 'Ensuring Student Career Readiness' in their conversation. Each panelist was asked to make an opening statement on the topic followed by questions prepared by the Front Office staff. Key discussion points that emerged from the hour long discussion included: the importance of mentorship in student development, the impact exposure opportunities can have on a student's life trajectory, and how to ensure we can support students in preparing for the adapting college and career worlds.
Click here for more information on our Educational Advisory Board.
PORT CHESTER, NY - On Thursday, August 13th at 7am, The PC Hunger Fighters, a group of Port Chester High School STEER student-athletes, gathered at the Drew St. senior apartments ready to pitch tents, unload and sort food donations, and make sure their public operation would adhere to current CDC guidelines.
Leading up to Thursday, the students had spent over two months preparing for their Free Farmer’s Market event through the framework of STEER’s Project-Based Learning program; as part of the program, students develop a project of their choice while they participate in a leadership course through Lead 4 Change. Made possible through STEER’s Work to Learn fund, students are compensated for their participation in the course with a stipend encouraging them to engage in relevant and meaningful experiences that incorporate both education and work.
The PC Hunger Fighter’s formed in 2019 as part of STEER’s first Project-Based Learning program cohort. That summer, the program participants identified food insecurity as one of the strongest issues facing their peers and social circles in the community. The students successfully installed vertical gardens in the Weber Drive Community Garden to provide an extra source of food for the housing residents. The group earned national recognition for their summer work and was named one of seven Summer 2019 Lead4Change Student Leadership Award winners.
Our 2020 program has expanded the capacity of the PC Hunger Fighters. Given the effects of the COVID-19 pandemic, the students chose to continue their efforts towards combating the growing issue of food insecurity in Port Chester. The PC Hunger Fighters met virtually twice a week to establish their goals, outline a vision for their market, and connect with donors and partners as far as New Paltz, NY. Donations received included fresh fruit and vegetables, pantry staples, and dairy products. Over the summer, the full group met in person only on the day of the event. The PC Hunger Fighters distributed food to over 350 families in Port Chester including seniors, school district families, and community members who heard of the event via the students’ extensive social media marketing campaign.
As 2019 showed, the PC Hunger Fighters are committed to spreading awareness for the issue of food insecurity in their community. This summer they plan to continue to help their community by volunteering their insight and energy to other local food distribution events.
PORT CHESTER, NY -- STEER for Student Athletes is pleased to announce receiving a $50,000 grant from the NYCDCC Relief & Charity Fund. This grant will be used to continue our work with students and families during the pandemic ensuring food security, supporting distance-learning, promoting social-emotional wellness, and providing physical health and wellness programming. In addition, as the educational community reopens, this funding will provide support for the transition.
Special thanks are in order to NYDCDCC and all our donors who have provided support in the final year of our 100 by 2020 initiative during this challenging time.
Congratulations to our Careers in Sports senior, Muhamed Bayo, on his decision to attend Boston College and being named valedictorian of his class!
Muhamed has been a part of STEER since his freshman year of high school. Throughout his time at CIS, he has exemplified excellence both in the classroom and on the field! Muhamed attributes part of his success to the trusting relationship he developed with his STEER advisor and the goal-setting strategies he learned from Dr. Hector Morales-Negron in our Peak Mental Game program. Of his achievements, Muhamed says, "...the resilience, work ethic, and confidence embedded in me will serve me greatly at Boston College and beyond."
We're so happy to have played a supporting role in Muhamed's journey and will excitedly follow along as he continues to set and accomplish goals!
We are excited to participate in #GivingTuesdayNow and provide opportunities for our community to remain connected during these difficult times.
Meetings links for our scheduled events are available below:
Programming Update + Q&A: https://www.facebook.com/SteerForStudentAthletes/
Alumni Roundtable: https://us02web.zoom.us/j/84724204223
Peak Mental Game Mindfulness Session: https://us02web.zoom.us/j/89951357380
Sports Themed Trivia: https://us02web.zoom.us/j/83329334678
Click here to help us reach our goal of 100 Donors for #GivingTuesdayNow!
Congratulations to our Careers in Sports senior, Kaelon Farquharson, on his decision to attend Monroe College next fall!
Kaelon has been a part of STEER since his sophomore year of high school. As a member of our community, we have admired Kaelon's determination to grow both as a player and student. Kaelon will continue his football career in college by playing for the Monroe Mustangs! We're so happy to have played a supporting role in Kaelon's journey.
Congratulations to our Port Chester senior, Lesly Morocho, on her decision to attend Cornell University! Lesly will fulfill her dream of attending her first-choice school where she plans to study public health or psychology.
Lesly has been a part of STEER since her sophomore year of high school. Throughout her high school career, she has consistently been a top student in her classes, proven to be a beloved leader as captain of the varsity soccer team, and has actively given back to the Port Chester community through volunteer work. As a member of our STEER community, Lesly's work ethic and dedication to her community make her a standout. We're so happy to have played a supporting role in Lesly's journey and will eagerly await all that is to come for her!